FireFighters

Fort Weyr - Shadowed Wilderness
Deep in the heart of Fort's wilderness lies a stretch of untamed and untouched forests. Here the trees and brush grow tall and thick and the further one ventures in and off the narrow paths, the less and less light filters through the canopy of leaves above. The scents of the forest all around, lulling and peaceful. Sounds of wildlife rise and fall, their calls echoing through the dense space. There is a sense of timelessness here, as these forests have stood for Faranth knows how many generations. Old as time, they are welcoming and yet hidden within are the dangers usually found in any wilderness and despite the peaceful air there is a subtler undercurrent of warning to those unwary enough to heed the unpredictable chaos of nature.
Eventually the forests thin in various 'pockets' of open meadows or groves, all of which vary in size but are too small to house even the smallest of greens. Brooks and streams criss cross through the undergrowth, but there is one location where the ground opens up to a narrow river, the waters deep and the undertows deadly if one does not have the sense to avoid them. Further downstream, the waters expand into rapids and onwards to a small waterfall before disappearing again to wind along the banks with the ancient forest towering over it on either side. Both Fort Weyr and Fort Hold are well far away in the distance, as are most cotholds and there is no sign of previous human habitation, new or old.


The weather lately has been fair, warm, a soft wing blowing through the forest making it rather nice time for campers and the like to go out and have some fun before it gets to cold in the area. Campers have indeed went out, a fire was made to cook and keep warm by, and the fire was smothered out, or so it was thought. With the campers out and heading home the not fully dead fire came back to life and quickly started to move through the underbrush, and work on taking out trees and anything else in its wake. Animals go running, wherries, felines, the works all take off in different directions to escape the fire. Word went out, and Thunderbird wing was alerted and at the moment they are out to check the area for the fire in question. The dragons are carrying skins full of water and dirt to help smother out any fire they might come across. Abigail and Niumdreoth are at point, the Thunderbird Wingleader having another group out checking another part of the forest. Niumdreoth has been sending information and directions back to the ones behind them. « Everyone keep alert, we need to put the fire out quickly as possible to keep it from spreading! No one do anything stupid either. » In other words, no one play hero.

A short distance behind Niumdreoth, the large skeletal form of brown Rhyrith glides, his eyes whirling with concern as he stays in tight formation. And affirmitive is seen on in reponces to the order. His rider settled low on his back eyes scanning forward and down, looking for any hot spots, or potential campers stuck behind the fire lines.

Also behind Niumdreoth is bronze Sharuth, who has grown to almost 30 meters at this point with more still to come. Astride him is So'l, goggles and helmet tightly in place as he directs the dragon to follow Niumdreoth and keep an eye on things below. Meanwhile, his own eyes are searching the treetops, looking for plumes of smoke that may begin to rise as the fire burns hotter. « Niumdreoth orders that nothing stupid be done, So'l. What does he mean? » the bronze asks, his eyes whirling with concern as he watches the forest below. » He means we shouldn't go off on our own, half-cocked and hoping to save the day all by ourselves, « So'l replies. « That would be foolish indeed, » Sharuth agrees, flapping his great wings to keep pace with the brown ahead.

Niumdreoth rumbles out softly and sends a glance back towards the ones that are behind him to make sure they are indeed still there. The large brown continues on his flight towards the spot where the fire was indeed said to be. Abigail leans back slightly in the straps her gaze drifting over the forest until there is a slight plume of smoke that is trickling into the air. She gives her dragon a soft pat and gets him to turn that way. « Follow us. The fire may be this way. »

From Rhyrith back K'drozen nods his head leaning in low over the browns back, he pulls a scarf up over his face concealing his mouth and nose as his brown banks with Niumdreoth, moving to approach the distant plume of smoke.

And following suit, as well, is Sharuth. He flares his golden-bronze wings to catch the wind and lets it push him to the left before reasserting flight control. He'll follow Niumdreoth obediently — his own eyes now tracking the smoke — as So'l raises his own scarf in preparation. Breathing may be difficult the closer they get, after all. Looking about Sharuth's hide, the bronzerider unsecures one of the larger water skins in preparation for pouring it down on the fire when ready.

The fire is seen with easy now, it is still burning within the underbrush, but the amount that is burning proves that they have a good amount of work to do at making sure it doesn't get any more out of control then it already is. Movement is seen down within the forest as felines are caught sight of running in all directions, some heading towards areas where they could possible run into people, but once they are under the thick underbrush once more they disappear from sight of the riders. Abigail shifts, working on losing a rope on two of the water skins she is carrying. « Do one sweep around and start at the edge and then work your way in. Drop either water or dirt to work on smothering it out. Make sure not to get too low, and do your best to not breathe in the smooth. We must all pay attention here! » Niumdreoth offers back as he sweeps sharply to the side, turning to head back the way they all came slightly.

K'drozen nods his head as Rhyrith confers the ordres and says "You heard the Rhy." as the brown banks staying high above the flames but coming just to the edge of the fire zone. Rhyrith projects those in formation with him, «Be very careful of the thermals here. The heat from the fire can do tricky things.» As the begin to cross, K'drozen releases on of the straps, the one holding the water and begins to drop on the fire below.

Sharuth relays the brown's commands back to So'l and then banks, choosing to come at the fire from behind before circling to the right. So'l has removed the cap from the large water skin and now dumps it over Sharuth's side, watching the liquid slosh down onto the licking flames below. The bronze continues circling, winging slowly to give the water time enough to work, while So'l re-secures the empty skin and reaches now for a sack of dirt tied to Sharuth's side. It's quickly freed and silt begins to rain down as So'l shakes the bag over the edge of the flames. Things go well until one of those tricky thermals hits, causing Sharuth to suddenly list to the side as the bronze attempts to regain position. « Dangerous indeed. We are fine, » he sends back to the other dragons.

One bag after another is dropped, the water hits the ground and from the height the dragons are it makes the bags bust open and thus wet the ground to work at the fire at the underbrush level. Niumdreoth shifts and turns, staying just high enough to avoid the hot thermals from the fire below, he turns to the side which allows the water falling from the bag to spray down across the fire below. With the work of the group it looks to be working, some of the fire is crackling and sputtering out in the area they are in, but there is still plenty to do. Abigail is quick to take the place in, sending information to Niumdreoth which is thus sent to the rest of the wing so others know the area and how bad it truly is, or could be. The movement from Sharuth is caught and Abbey looks towards them. « Be careful! » Niumdreoth sends towards Sharuth, a swirling gaze is sent towards the bronze to make sure that he is indeed alright. A thick plume of a thermal is caught by the brown as a result and a sharp roar escapes him which causes him to move upwards towards cooler air.

K'drozen eyes shoot over towards the weyrling as they catch the thermal concern in his eyes. on seeing them regain there path he nods though looking back down the fire below. Rhyrith begining a slow circle back to the fire line for another pass. K'drozen watching the ground all the while, trying to spot any additional trouble spots, or perhaps a nearer water source to refil from for further runs.

« We are fine, » Sharuth again reassures Niumdreoth, pumping his wings to rise a bit higher. « If only I could spit water instead of flame, » the bronze laments to his rider. « It would be more helpful now and not be so unpleasant afterward. » Seems Sharuth isn't so fond of regurgitating ash from his second stomach. "It is what it is," So'l replies, switching back to water. The next skin is unstoppered and the Senior Weyrling (thank you very much) bows over Sharuth's side to pour it down onto the southern edge of the blaze. Though they've wildlife escaping, it seems not all were so lucky. In the smoldering wake of the water, the burned husks of what look like a squirrel family can be seen. « Humans must be more careful! » Sharuth bugles with anger. « How could they let this happen?! » he asks of all who can hear him.

Abigail shakes her head slightly while she shifts, working on pulling and tugging upon the next bag which takes a few moments before she is able to get the dirt back open and with another sweep downwards towards the fire it is dumped out. « It was an accident we are sure. Though yes, they should be more careful! » Niumdreoth offers with a deep rumble towards the younger bronze as his wings flap slowly as he hovers above to get a good look down over the ground below. The fire has spread somewhat towards the south but at least the one they are working on here seems to be coming a bit more controlled. Other dragons are seen further away, the rest of the sweeping wing that was out is heading towards them it seems. « Be ready to switch out and get more bags of water and dirt to continue the sweep!! » Niumdreoth calls out to the ones that are around him.

Rhyrith sweeps though with his second drop releasing the dirt this time. As it is released he says, «Sometimes fire is good for the forest. It helps renew things. Some trees can only seed with fire. It is sad when some lose there life from it but.» He banks away as the last of his load drops, winging away towards refills.

« We could stop this, So'l. Before it began, » Sharuth sends, his anger over the dead animals rising even more as Niumdreoth mentions that humans should be — but aren't — more careful. « Bend the shadows, So'l, please! » The bronze is clearly very, very upset but what's happened here, especially as a burned rabbit is uncovered. Sharuth loves rabbits and the notion of humans causing this blaze fills him with fury. » No! Sharuth, we can't. This is sad and it makes me angry, too, « So'l replies, letting his own emotions fill the link between he and his dragon, » but we can't bend the shadows for this. « Whatever that means… » Let's focus on putting it out so that no others are hurt, alright? « The bronze doesn't reply with words but his emotions signal acceptance. So'l uncorks his last water skin and pours it down on the fire even as the others begin to swoop towards them. "Alright Sharuth, we need to restock. Up!" he commands, holding onto the straps as the bronze rises higher and higher.

« Sharuth! That is enough This happens, we do our best to stop it but we must not lose are control, nor let are anger get the best over us at this time. We are here to do a job, to stop it from spreading. DO you understand? » Niumdreoth bugles out as his attention turns fully towards the large bronze, his wings flapping a few times as he raises up within the up current of a gust of air that makes the fire crackle and pop down below. Abigail sends her gaze towards both So'l and Sharuth, a slight narrowing of her eyes going unseen as she waits and watches before urging her dragon upwards. « There is a lake nearby, we shall go and refill the skins and start again. » Niumdreoth sends to Sharuth to make sure the bronze follows before the large brown turns and heads towards the lake. As he does this others of Thunderbird wing are there to sweep in and start there 'attacks' on the fire.

Rhyrith sticks in close formation with the wingsecond beating his wings hard to gain altitude before sailing for the lake. His mind touch to Sharuth is gentle as he says, «We must do our duty now to save the othere. There are many more down there we must work hard to protect. I mourn the loss of this little ones down there as well.»

So'l's mental push had already refocused the bronze but comments from Niumdreoth — who Sharuth admires so much — are like a slap in the face; a slap of reality and commitment that laser focus the bronze back on the specifics of the moment rather than the broad implications of human irresponsibility. « I am sorry, » he sends through the link, disappointed in himself even as he wings ahead for the lake. "It's alright," So'l pats the dragon's side. "We love the forest; we love everything /in/ the forest. It's ok to be upset but let's just focus on what we need to do, alright?" « Alright. I will save more than have died! » Sharuth bugles, perhaps in response to Rhyrith's comment. Putting on a burst of speed, the bronze is suddenly moving faster than he ever has before. He lands nearby the lake, allowing So'l to drop and fill the skins as he waits.

Niumdreoth keeps a close eye on Sharuth to the short trip over to the lake in order to fill the skins once more. He is in the shallows of the lake so his rider doesn't have to even get off to fill the skins. Abigail has done this a few times, each skin is dumped into the water and once filled is tied back onto the straps. With a few left Abbey is looking towards the ones with her, checking to see if anything may be out of the place, fighting with fire is not easy after all. Niumdreoth shifts in the water turning to face Sharuth. « We do our best, but we must remember some will die. Yes it is sad for the ones that have been lost but, we do this to keep the rest alive. We must always keep a level head, if we get too angry, or upset then we cannot do our job. » With the water skins filled the pair is back up in the air and heading back towards the fire where other riders and there dragon's are still fighting the blaze.

K'drozen reaches down to resecure the straps as he begins to fill the water once more. The brown rider quietly as he looks back and forth between his fellows. With a pat to his browns shoulder they are once more way towards the fire. Rhyrith straining his powerful wings to drawn the heavy load of water higher and higher into the air. To Niumdreoth, «If we don't get this under control soon we might have to cut a break futhers up.»

Sharuth understands and requires no further convincing on the matter. He is a dragon on a mission now, having finally understood that despite the deaths that have already happened, he can save many, many more. When So'l rises from the waterline — having filled and then secured the final skin — the bronze is ordered up once more and wastes no time in returning. In fact, with great pumps of his mighty wingsails, he outspeeds brown Niumdreoth back to the fire, darting down to resume his circling stance but picking a pace that gives So'l the time needed to work. First one waterskin is detached, uncorked, and emptied…the edge of the blaze shrinking further and further…and then it's followed up with another bag of direct, creating mud that will act as a natural firebreak.

« We will do two more passes and if it is not under some control then we need to do that, indeed. » Niumdreoth offers back to Rhyrith. The brown sends a glance towards Sharuth as the bronze zips by, there is a pause and shake of the head before he follows quickly. While Sharuth is at one side Nium is at the other working on doing the same. Abigail undoes a water skin and the circling is starting once more. So far so good it seems the wing is making a dent in the fire and it is starting to shrink more and more.

Rhyrith hang back just a bit behind Sharuth and Niumdreoth, watching there drops before droping himself, trying to time his drops for maximum effect combined with that of his fellow riders. K'drozen eyes continues to flick this way and that on the ground below watching, making sure that there are no traped campers below.

« We are doing it, So'l! The fire is growing smaller, » Sharuth bugles happily, continuing his circle as his rider dumps both water and dirt onto the ever-shrinking blaze. There's more death here — a wherry must have been choked by the smoke and fell into the fire — but the bronze is doing as Niumdreoth commanded and not focusing on it. With a soft mental touch, Sharuth brushes Niumdreoth's mind and hopes the brown will forgive his youthful missteps. "Last water skin," So'l announces, dumping the liquid over the side and watching with satisfaction as another section of the blaze sputters out.

There are soft brushes offered back to Sharuth from the large brown, Niumdreoth had no hard feelings towards the bronze, no worries in the least it seems. There is a soft snowy forest in his thoughts, cool breeze blowing across the trees while he lets Sharuth into the scene as well to prove he is not upset with the bronze. Abigail goes about working on undoing another bag of water letting is fall and splatter across the ground below, the mud, dirt and water doing its job to slow down the fire, the mud keeps it from spreading and it won't take that much longer before it should be all snuffed out.. Finally!

K'drozen breaths a sigh of relief as he begins to seen signs that there labor is starting to slow the advance of the fire. Not completely relaxing yet though, knowing a sudden gust of wind could cause the blaze to jump the line. he continues to urge Rhyrith back and forth across the fire zone doing his water and dirt drops..

But at last, after the fast action of Thunderbird Wing and friends, the fire seems to have dissipated. What few mounds still yield smoke are continued to be doused for safety by Sharuth and So'l but it seems the danger itself has passed. Looking about the clearing now made in the underbrush — a charred swath of black, burnt brush — the weyrling can't help but feel a little lick of anger's own flame again. But it's quickly stamped out before Sharuth can pick up on and magnify it.

Niumdreoth slowly follows after Sharuth, a deep rumble escaping him as he watches the bronze closely a few moments before he is busy flying low to make sure it is only just smoke curling into the air. So far so good, seems like they was able to stop the fire before it got to out of hand. Though there could possibly be problems from his fire in the days to come, felines, wherries and other animals have been pushed from here homes after all. "Everyone did good!" Abigail calls out as she is near So'l and K'drozen for a few moments during that low check over the burnt forest before. She knows the forest will grow from this in no time; it is how the forest works after all.

Rhyrith circles overhead surveying the damage as Niumdreoth flys by and Abigail calls out. Pulling his scarf from his face he calls back, "Thank you ma'am. It could have been much worse." as he drops back into formation.

And you can bet the sweep riders will be focusing on the surrounding area for the next several days to make sure things settle down, especially in regards to any displaced animals. Perhaps So'l will do a follow up ride with them? He's hoping he'll be picked for Thunderbird Wing and would love the chance to continue proving that he and Sharuth can be of value. "Scary stuff, that fire," So'l nods, calling out loudly since they're all still a-dragonback. "Good work putting it out though," he smiles underneath his scarf.

Abigail nods as she hears K'drozen, a warm smile offered to him before she looks back to So'l, the warm smile still there, though something else lingers, she's proud of him and Sharuth. "Weyrling So'l, report back to the Weyr. Make sure Sharuth is well oiled as the smoke can affect his hide. Check him over well for anything that seems wrong." She will wait for a answer before winking at the bronzer and soon she and Niumdreoth head off to check up with the rest of the wing to offer up the reports to the Wingleader. Niumdreoth bugles out towards the others. « Good job, Rhyrith, Sharuth! » Though there is another comment offered only to Sharuth. « I and mine are proud of you and yours. You both did well. Mine will come to speak with yours later at the Weyr. »


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